Abstract ___The present study is an attempt to describe the of evaluatingthe textbook English for Iranian Tour Guides: English for SpecificPurposes thought at private institutes related to cultural heritage andtourism organization in Iran. The purposes of this research paper was toevaluate the pedagogical value and suitability of the textbook toward thisspecific language course. To achieve this goal, a questionnaire consisting 20items and checking 6 factors (practical concerns, materials in relation to thecourse objective, subject matter, linguistic issues, skills and strategies, varietyof tasks and activities, and the layout of materials) was used. Participantsinclude 10 English teacher, who were teaching an ESP courses at some institutein Mashhad.
The findings indicate that the book, despite having merits, was notvery applicable and suitable for the course and the distance between materialsand content with applying in real world situation is significantly far.Suggestions regarding the kind of activity, grammar and vocabulary, layout andother important factors are discussed.Key words: ESP, tourism, English language teaching material, textbookevaluation 1. Introduction It is becomingincreasingly difficult to ignore the importance of English for specific purpose(ESP) in area of research in the field of teaching English. ESP becomes a majorfield study for about 40 years. Dudley Event and St John (1998) maintain that ESPis part of a more general movement of teaching language for specific purposes(LSP).
As the name suggest, ESP designed for specific group of people inparticular situation. So in each specified context that English act asmediator, learning general and specified version of English which is related tothat context is vital. According to Dudley Event and St John (1998,p 1), “It ishowever interesting and significant that so much of the writing hasconcentrated on the procedures of ESP and on relating course design to learnersspecific needs rather than on theoretical matters.” Using authentic and usefulmaterial that is related to special context can help learners to adjust theirneeds to improve the quality of their life, job, education, etc. One of the mostimportant factors for language learning and ESP in particular is to see whetherthe textbook and other materials are useful for students and for the course.
O’Neill (1982) present four reason for use of course books. Firstly, most partof course materials are appropriate for student’s need, even if they are notespecially designed for them. Secondly, they make it possible for students toplan for future learning and also review the pervious materials or lessons.Thirdly, course books provide students with high quality materials at areasonable price. Finally, suitable course books allow teachers to adapt andmodify them meet the learners’ needs and also allow for natural interaction tohappen.
By understanding the important role of the books, the process ofevaluating textbook which is a major area of interest within the field of ESPcase study, is essential.